Admit it: Valentine’s Day has placed an unnecessary pressure on men to step up and sweep the women they love off their feet. Even before February rolls around, companies already offer a reminder of this very special day—from heart-shaped chocolates at the grocery or jewelry and bouquets of flowers in the mall. Even social media accounts show online shops that offer special “packages” that you can buy and give to your SO.
But even if this day has become so commercialized, its meaning should not be lost on us. If you ask the wife, it doesn’t actually take much to win her over. She already knows how hard it is to celebrate this occasion especially with kids that cling to you like glue. What she really needs is someone to help ease her load (and let her sleep, heh). Bearing that in mind, dad website Fatherly put together a list of small gestures that you can do for the love of your life this V-Day and beyond. They don’t cost a thing but they will definitely put you in the running for the #besthusband award. Here are our favorites (plus other suggestions we think she’ll appreciate):
1. Set her phone alarm to play a song she likes when she wakes up. If you have a theme song, this is the perfect time to bust it out! She may be sleep-deprived but this will put her in a good mood.
2. Send her an Internet thing that you know she’ll like. Put all that scrolling through your Facebook feed to good use—it can be a funny photo, video (cute dogs, maybe?) or just about anything that will put a smile on her face.
3. Ask her if she’d like some time alone. Yes, she’ll appreciate that you’re not being needy—and take the kids with you so she can really have some me-time.
4. Do the chore that she hates the most. Put those muscles to work, but don’t brag about it or else the sweet gesture will fly out the window.
5. Paste her toothbrush for her when you’re both getting ready for the day. A sweet, thoughtful deed that won’t go unnoticed.
6. Give her a backrub without making a big deal out of it. Don’t insinuate even if you want to be naughty—just focus on easing the tension from her back!
7. Text: “Thinking of you” at some point during the day. It will be a pleasant surprise!
8. Make breakfast for her. And don’t forget the piping hot coffee! Bring it to your room and make sure she gets to eat everything—even if it means scooping the kids out of the bedroom before they can make trouble.
9. Leave some Post-its around the house. On the bathroom mirror, in the closet, on the kitchen counter, the stove, the fridge. Give yourself one day to be cheesy! (Or you can also make suggestive jokes if you really can’t help it.)
10. Make her laugh. Whether it’s a good joke or embarrassing yourself, go to town with it.
11. Make her a Spotify playlist. It’s the perfect time to reminisce—add songs that you used to listen to on dates or those that played on your wedding. Or whatever song that you both like! Extra challenge: arrange the song titles so it makes a message!
12. Make a list of things for which you’re proud of her. Don’t play around. Make it come from the heart. Plus points if you post it on Facebook for all your friends to see.
13. Let her throw out something of yours that you know she doesn’t like. It will hurt, but it’s the perfect gift.
14. Compliment her in public. Make sure other people hear you!
15. Whisper in her ear how beautiful you think she is.